Published On: Wed, Aug 30th, 2017

Treatment abroad

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The Secretary General of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded of the government to not allow ministers, politicians and bureaucrats to go abroad for medical treatment. They should instead get themselves and their families treated at the country’s public hospitals ‘so that conditions of the hospitals are improved’.

There is lot of sense in the PMA leader’s demand. Firstly, ministers, members of the parliament and government officials go abroad for medical treatment at government expense. If they got treated at home, a lot of public money would be saved.

Secondly, as suggested by the PMA leader if all these important people who have the reins of the government in their hands, go to the country’s public hospitals for treatment, then one big benefit that would accrue to the ordinary citizens would be that they would see the actual conditions of the public hospitals and take measures to improve them.

At present the state of our public hospitals is most unsatisfactory. Barring a few exceptions where the government leaders have taken personal interest or where there are devoted doctors like Dr. Adib Rizvi of SIUT, the public hospitals in the country suffer from all sorts of problems like general neglect, shortage of funds, corruption and irregularities, absentee doctors etc. etc. The ultimate victims of all these problems are the people who have nowhere to go except public hospitals. They cannot afford to seek treatment from private clinics and hospitals and going abroad is out of question for them. Their total dependence is on public hospitals.

Therefore all ministers, members of the parliament as well as the high officials must take all measures to improve the conditions at the public hospitals. And the best course they can adopt to improve these hospitals is to seek treatment in these hospitals themselves instead of going abroad. That would save a lot of public money and at the same time result in improving the state of public hospitals.

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